Focus: Sustainable Public Mobility
Period: Winter Semester 2020/21
Mentor: Prof. Detlef Rhein
Veloroute H20 is a Kiel specific sustainable mobility solution. Connecting the East and West side of Kiel by expanding the existing Veloroute - bicycle road - network over the Harbour.
*Designed and developed as a semester project during my Master's in Industrial Medical Design.
Veloroute H2O is a sustainable public mobility concept that aims to connect the two sides of Kiel. Bicycles are a sustainable form of mobility that proved to be one of the safest options during a pandemic; however, a bike can only take you as far as the infrastructure goes.
Hence the need for an infrastructure that crosses Kiel's Förde on a consistent and reliable schedule. Residents can then cut down on their carbon footprint and celebrate the Förde on their daily commutes.
Veloroute H2O is an electric & autonomous ferry that transports bikers across the Förde. The VeloCat and VeloGuardian are powered by renewable energy harvested by wind and tide turbines installed along the Kiellinie.
The VeloGuardian is the primary communication method for the VeloCat as it travels in circles on the departure shore, indicating that the ferry is about to leave. Before Arriving on the opposite shore, the VeloGuardian clears out the water while flashing red to indicate caution.
Azimuth propellers power both the VeloCat and VeloGuardian. Allowing them to perform extreme maneuvers without the need to rotate the vessel when traveling back.
The surface of the VeloCat is made from a cement and mussel shell composite that is as rigid as Veloroute roads. However, the surface under the VeloBenches is made from mussel shells and biopolymer mix that is semi-flexible and shock-absorbent.
The VeloCat and VeloGuardian are largely made from the same materials and components:
- Railings: are made of recycled glass.
- Hulls: are made of recycled HDPE.
- Benches: are made of wood and recycled aluminum that is galvanized with titanium (as aluminum is both lightweight and recyclable, and the titanium layer is antimicrobial).
- Surfaces: are made from a cement and mussel shell composite that has the same rigidity and grit as the Veloroute roads. However, to reduce the vibrations of the catamaran, the surface under the VeloBenches is made from mussel shells and biopolymer mix that is semi-flexible.
Ten VeloBenches on each VeloCat allow passengers to sit in various positions. Bike riders can lean on them or rest their foot on the backside of the bench without unseating from their bike.
VeloDocks are an integral part of the Veloroute H2O network as they connect to Kiel's land Veloroute network.
The docks have wind and tide turbines powering VeloCat ferries; they also have mussel socks on either side of its floating platforms. The mussel farms help filter the Förde's water, reduce eutrophication and restore aquamarine habitats.
The Velodocks will have two underground floors that allow Kiel's residents to celebrate the Förde from a different perspective.
With panoramas that overlook the mussel farms and the mussel transportation belly of VeloCat, people can witness and follow the restoration of the Förde over time as it will allow them to connect with the Kiel's marine natural residents.
Environmental relief / pollution
Veloroute H20 is an infrastructure allowing cyclists and commuters to cross the Förde without resorting to public transport or personal vehicles. Therefore, significantly reducing the emissions of transportation. By leveraging Kiel's unique geography and Förde, Veloroute H20 is electrically powered by renewable energy. The many helical wind turbines provide this energy along the Kielline and the energy harvested from wave energy. To help push the carbon footprint of Veloroute H20, the VeloDocks are also mussel farms (the stations where VeloCats dock and carry passengers). Those farms grow Blue Mussels (mytilus edulis) native to the baltic sea in Mussel Socks that run down on either side of the docks. An adult Blue Mussel can filter up to 60 liters of water per day. Those farms help filter Kiel's polluted Förde water, which in turn reduces eutrophication, restores aquamarine habitats, and helps us build mussel reefs that combat flooding.
Degree of innovation (from a design and environmental perspective)
Veloroute H20 is fundamentally an extension of Kiel's inner-city Veloroute network. This network is designed to provide cyclists and pedestrians quick and traffic-free roads across the city, however, this network does not extend over the Förde, which forces commuters to use buses or personal vehicles for their daily travel. Veloroute H20 is both a metaphorical and physical extension of the Veloroute network, hence the similar visual appearance of the catamaran's surface. The VeloCat accommodates up to 36 cyclists, pedestrians, wheelchairs, and baby strollers. The VeloCat uses Azimuth Propellers, which sail both forward and backward without rotating the ferry, allowing cyclists to continue on their journey without the need to get off their bikes. The VeloGuardian is the marine radar and light pole watching over the VeloCat passengers. Veloroute H20 is electrically powered and fully autonomous, working on a regular and reliable timetable.
Influence on user behaviour and impact on the sector
The Veloroute H20 promotes cycling, which is the most sustainable form of mobility. Bicycles have also been proven to be one of the safest mobility methods since the pandemic. It keeps people at a safe distance, outside in fresh air, and gives them the necessary cardio exercise. Veloroute H20 also promotes the connection and appreciation of Kiel's Förde. Whether through the daily commutes on the VeloCat, or the public spaces available on the VeloDocks. Each VeloDock provides two underground floors that allow Kiel's residents to celebrate the Förde from a different perspective. With panoramas that overlook the mussel farms and the mussel transportation belly of VeloCat, people can witness and follow the restoration of the Förde over time, allowing them to connect with Kiel's marine natural residents.
I've been incredibly excited about the direction I took with my project as it stands out from the typical public mobility concept. Especially since it allowed me to learn more about the Förde and marine life, as I made sure to consult GEOMAR with every decision I took regarding the mussel farms. Lastly, the project was born from my desire of showcasing and celebrating the slogan of "Kiel Sailing City" in its public mobility platforms. Allowing every resident to become a sailor.
Thank you for taking the time to check my project :D
Feel free to pop me a message if you want to learn more, or if you have a cool project you want me to work on!
Stay safe and have a great day!